Alissa was born in Kanab Utah but did most of her dance training in Arizona. She graduated from the University of Arizona dance program and moved to Las Vegas to be a part of Nevada Ballet Theatre in 2004. While at NBT Alissa was an audience favorite, performing numerous principal roles including Odette/Odile in Cynthia Gregory's Swan Lake, the lead woman in Christopher Wheeldon's Carousel (A Dance), the title role in Yuri Possokhov's The Firebird, and originated roles in multiple world premieres by various renowned choreographers. Alissa was an artist of NBT until 2019 when she retired from the company with the arrival of her beautiful baby girl! She now teaches Pilates and the Gyrotonic Expansion System at Lifetime Fitness. She and her husband Josh are avid outdoors enthusiasts and are thrilled to be new members of Ballet120 this year!
Anthony “A.C.E.” Cardona is a first generation Hispanic American who grew up with very humble beginnings in the urban streets of Las Vegas, Nevada. Anthony’s parents left their respective countries to pursue the American Dream. In his up bringing, Anthony was exposed to dance with musical accompaniment as a part of his culture and social relationships with family and friends. During his teenage years, Anthony received the utmost training in dance, street culture, character development, and leadership at Culture Shock Las Vegas. Fueled with ambition, Anthony then traveled to the Broadway Dance Center in New York City and the Debbie Reynold’s Dance Studio in Los Angeles where he pursued intense professional training. Anthony thrives in many styles of dance including; hip-hop, house dance, partnering, contemporary, as well as in commercial choreography. At the age of 16, Anthony debuted his professional dance career working for Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo. By the age of 22 he landed his first job as an in-house choreographer for MGM properties under the direction of Barry Morgan, contributing to entertainment in the world renowned Studio 54, numerous corporate events and several New Year’s Eve galas. Anthony has made significant contributions to the entertainment industry in Las Vegas. He’s had major roles in choreographing and/or dancing with many top-tier artists and companies including; Kanye West, Coolio, Cirque Du Soleil, Nike, IBM, John Paul Mitchel, The Temptations, Legends in Concerts and many more. These achievements also allowed Anthony the opportunity to become a prolific globe trotter. He has performed on tours in many parts of the United States, Canada, China, and Poland. In addition to live performances, Anthony also has experience in film, videos, and commercials. His credits include; Sean Paul, Michael Jackson, Natalia Lesz, Larisa Dolina, Shohreh, A&E’s “Inked,” Big Lots, and Unify. Anthony’s most recent success was joining the Cirque Du Soleil team where he performed regularly in “Michael Jackson One.” Anthony wears many hats in the realm of entertainment where he partakes in teaching, choreography, production, storytelling, and directing. His talents are not just limited to that; he’s multi-faceted in many areas such as; DJing, hosting, motivational speaking, acting and athletics. Even though Anthony’s success and talents continue to soar, he generously gives back (for 20+ years now!!) to the community where he volunteers at Culture Shock Las Vegas. Anthony’s greatest and most endearing success is being a loving father of his two beautiful children. Anthony never stops growing as a dancer and professional in the entertainment industry as he is consistently setting new goals for himself. The world awaits his future endeavors!
Betsy Lucas was born in Hillsboro, Oregon and trained with the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre under the direction of Damara Bennet. In 2010 she joined Nevada Ballet Theatre. Now in her 10th season with NBT, Betsy’s repertoire includes lead roles in several full-length classics: “Clara” in NBT’s production of The Nutcracker, choreographed by James Canfield, “Wendy” in Jorden Morris’ Peter Pan, “Beauty” in Lew Christensen’s Beauty and the Beast, "Alice" in Septime Webre's Alice (In Wonderland), Svetlana in Ben Stevenson's Dracula, Serenade (Soloist Russian Girl), and Western Symphony (1st movement Principal.) Betsy is one of the original dancers of Ballet120, beginning her tenure with the company during its founding in 2018. Betsy has premiered in the Ballet120 videos Tactility, Purple Sunset, Full Circle, and Duet. One of Betsy's favorite Ballet120 moments was performing Purple Sunset live at the 2020 composer showcase held at Myron's Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center. When not performing, Betsy enjoys teaching in various dance studios, sewing skirts for her own dance wear line, Style En Pointe, and cuddling with her rescue shepherd-mixes Jax and Molly.
Brooke Lyness grew up in Moraga, California and began dancing at a very young age. She trained at various schools in the Bay Area including Orinda Ballet Academy and Co. Brooke graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music with a BFA in Ballet. While finishing her degree, she danced with Atlanta Ballet’s Fellowship Program and performed in the greater Atlanta community. She was featured in an advertisement for Epitome ATL x Saucony shoes, and a fashion show at Spelman College. Since 2016, Brooke has been working with Nevada Ballet Theatre where she’s been featured in "Arabian" in James Canfield's The Nutcracker, the pas de deux in Gerald Arpino's Light Rain, and worked with choreographers including Matthew Neenan and Nicolo Fonte. She has also performed in A Choreographers' Showcase, the annual collaboration between Cirque du Soleil and NBT. Brooke danced with Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance as an apprentice for the 2019 summer season. She has attended RUBBERBANDance's workshop with Victor Quijada and PDX Contemporary Ballet's summer program. Since joining Ballet120 Brooke has been featured in the video Split and has led Groove Along, an improv class series on their Instagram.
Ekaterina Pokrovskaya is a professional, classically trained ballerina and award-winning choreographer. She received her education at Kazan Ballet College in Russia and graduated with Honors Degree. Upon graduation she was invited to join Russian State Ballet Theater in Moscow. She danced in more than 20 countries in tours with this company. Ekaterina got a very wide stage experience dancing in corps de ballet, soloist and principal roles on the best stages of the world. In April 2014 she was awarded the First prize of Spoleto Dance Competition (Italy). In November 2014 she joined Russian National Ballet Theatre as a principal. There she started her career dancing Clara (Sugar Plum) in Nutcracker. Then there were a few more debuts: Giselle in Kansas City and Cinderella. After the American tour with the company she was invited to join New Jersey Ballet Company. In May 2015 she became a finalist of VKIBC New York. The same year Ekaterina started pursuing choreography. After receiving the Special Choreography Award and the 2nd Prize in Dancers Category at Easton Ballet Competition in 2016 she was invited to join Pennsylvania Ballet Company. In 2018 Ekaterina moved to Las Vegas pursuing a choreographer's dream and was honored to receive a job offer from one of the most prestigious dance complexes in the world: Millennium Dance Complex. Ekaterina frequently performs as a guest dancer and teaches master classes, private lessons, and summer intensives in NYC, Tampa (FL), New Jersey, Denver (CO), and Las Vegas. She recently joined Ballet120 and was featured in the collaborative video Daydreaming of Tomorrow.
Originally from Ohio, Emma began her training at the Schrader Youth Ballet. She graduated with a BFA in dance with a ballet emphasis from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. She has danced with the Louisville Ballet and the Eugene Ballet where she performed Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Adam Hougland’s Rite of Spring, and Gerald Arpino’s Light Rain. Emma joined Nevada Ballet Theatre in 2014 where her repertoire includes roles such as “Alice” in Septime Werbre’s Alice (in Wonderland), “Clara” in James Canfield’s The Nutcracker, “Tinkerbell” in Jorden Morris’ Peter Pan, “Princess Florine” in Sleeping Beauty, the title role in James Canfield’s and Tara Foy’s Cinderella, and “Beauty” in Lew Christensen’s Beauty and the Beast. Emma has also been featured in Balanchine works such as Who Cares? and Serenade, as well as contemporary works by choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Matthew Neenan, and Nicolo Fonte. Emma has danced for the summer company Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance for two seasons and has performed with the unique performance group #instaballet in which audience members help choreograph a ballet in real time with the dancers. She is a summer faculty member at Young People's Summer Stock Performing Arts Camp in Baltimore, Md. Outside of the studio Emma enjoys spending time with her terrier-mix, Cece. Emma is proud to be a founding member of Ballet120.
Jaime DeRocker is originally from Oneida, New York and started dancing at The United Academy of the Performing Arts with Sandra Fukes and Wende Warne. At age eleven, she began her formal ballet training with Delia Foley at Mohawk Valley Ballet and studied at various summer intensives around the country including the School of American Ballet, Chautauqua, Boston Ballet School and The Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, FL. In 2007, she was accepted into The Harid Conservatory as a full-time student, where she graduated with the Level Three Dance Award. Upon her graduation, she joined The Colorado Ballet Studio Company under the direction of Gil Boggs before dancing with Ballet West, NBT, and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. In 2015, she received a tuition scholarship to the Nederlands Dans Theatre Summer Intensive. Jaime joined Festival Ballet Providence in 2013 where she performed a varied repertoire of ballets including Études, George Balanchine’s Agon, The Nutcracker and Jorden Morris’ Peter Pan among others. Since returning to NBT, Jaime has performed the lead roles of “Sugar Plum Fairy” and “Winter Fairy” in NBT’s production of The Nutcracker, choreographed by James Canfield, as well as lead roles in Ben Stevenson’s Swan Lake and Dracula. She has also danced in Nicolo Fonte’s Bolero, Paul Taylor’s Company B, Matthew Neenan’s World Premiere, Until December, and ballets by George Balanchine including Serenade, Western Symphony, and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. Jaime is excited to be joining Ballet120 for their 2020 Season.
Josh was born in Honolulu, HI but started his dance training after moving to the mainland. He attended the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities and then transfered to the North Carolina School of the Arts where he graduated high school. From there he went on to train at the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. Eventually landing in Las Vegas, NV he joined Nevada Ballet Theatre where he met his wife, fellow Ballet120 dancer, Alissa Dale. He spent several seasons with NBT performing a variety of ballets with notable features including "Bluebird" in The Sleeping Beauty, peasant pas de deux from Giselle, and Paul Vasterling's Seasons. He then transitioned into the Stage Management and stagehand side of the stage. He is very grateful to be dancing again with Ballet120!
Mirella Costa Neto is originally from São Paulo, Brazil. She trained in Brazil for 8 years and at the age of 16, she got a full scholarship to join Miami City Ballet School and moved to the U.S. Throughout her career, she has participated in several acclaimed ballet competitions world-wide including Youth American Grand Prix, placing Top 12 in the U.S.; Festival de Dança de Joinville, earning two Gold Medals; and the Helsinki International Ballet Competition in Finland. In 2013, she joined Sarasota Ballet where she performed works by Sir Frederick Ashton, Michael Fokine, Anthony Tudor and August Bournonville, as well as contemporary choreographers such as Paul Taylor and Christopher Wheeldon. During her career she has danced the lead in many ballets by George Balanchine including Jewels, Stars and Stripes, Apollo, Tarantella, Serenade, The Four Temperaments, Valse Fantaisie and Raymonda Variations. In 2017 she joined Nevada Ballet Theatre where her lead roles have included “Rum and Coca Cola” in Paul Taylor’s Company B , “Winter Fairy” in NBT’s production of The Nutcracker by James Canfield, “Eaglet” in Septime Webre’s Alice (in Wonderland), “Svetlana” in Ben Stevenson’s Dracula, and most recently the role of Odette/Odile in Ben Stevenson’s Swan Lake. Mirella is a founding member of Ballet120 and has been featured in Tactility and Fun in the Sun.
Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Rachel danced for Alberta Ballet II prior to her move to Las Vegas in 2015 to join Nevada Ballet Theatre. She later joined Ballet120 in their inaugural season in 2018. Since then, she has performed in works choreographed by Artistic Director Benjamin Tucker, Danielle Maas, and Krista Baker. Rachel has also performed numerous roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Ben Stevenson, and Nicolo Fonte, amongst others. In 2017 Rachel co-choreographed a work with Anthony Cardona of Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson ONE" entitled Frequent See for the 10th Annual "A Choreographers' Showcase." In 2018 she performed in Cirque du Soleil's 7th Annual "One Night for One Drop" starring singer/songwriter Jewel.
Sergio Alvarez is originally from Manizales, Colombia and trained at ballet MILUZKA and Ballet Ana Pavlova. He performed in the Musical CABARET for the National Theatre of Colombia.
In 2009 he recieved 2 scholarships to the United States, (Jacob's Pillow ballet program and Ballet Hispánico), after that he joined The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia with a full scholarship. He has worked for Roxey Ballet, Ballet Fleming, Staten Island Ballet, Ballet Des Moines, Ballet Grand Diva, and has performed around the world in countries such as Japan, Israel, and Puerto Rico. He was the winner on an episode of the well-renowned Latin TV show “Sabado Gigante” in 2011 in Miami. After moving to Las Vegas in 2015 to join Nevada Ballet Theatre he has performed leading roles in a variety of ballets such as Ben Stevenson's Swan Lake and Dracula, George Balanchine's Serenade, Raymonda Variations, The Four Temperaments, Western Symphony, and Who Cares?, Septime Webre's Alice (in wonderland), James Canfield's Cinderella, The Nutcracker, and Romeo & Juliet. In 2017 Sergio choreographed a piece for A Choreographers' Showcase (Cirque du Soleil and NBT collaboration). Sergio was also featured in a interview for TeleMundo Las Vegas and his interview aired nationwide. Sergio is a founding member of Ballet120, with notable performaces in the videos Walk and Fun in the Sun.
Exposed to movement and dance through a program at his elementary school, Steven Goforth began his official training in Vancouver, WA with Jan Hurst and Zachary Carroll. Starting in 2010, he attended the Ballet West Academy Summer Intensive on scholarship for three summers, and later joined Ballet West's Professional Trainee Program, on full scholarship. As a Trainee, he performed in The Little Mermaid, Don Quixote, and the Act 3 pas de deux from Spartacus. Steven moved to Las Vegas to join Nevada Ballet Theatre in 2012 and has performed many principal roles including; Prince Siegfried in Cynthia Gregory’s Swan Lake, the title role Ben Stevenson’s Dracula, Bugle Boy and Pennsylvania Polka in Paul Taylor’s Company B, Gerald Arpino’s Light Rain Pas de Deux, the principal couple in Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance), the principal couple in Nicolo Fonte's Bolero, Cheshire Cat and King of Hearts in Septime Webre’s Alice (in Wonderland), Snow Prince in James Canfield’s The Nutcracker, and principal roles in George Balanchine’s Serenade, Western Symphony, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Steven originated roles in works by Nicolo Fonte (Crane/ing), Matthew Neenan (Until December), Krista Baker-Mendoza (The Current) and James Canfield. Outside of ballet, Steven enjoys spending time with his wife, two dogs and a cat, golfing and supporting local small businesses. Along with fellow Ballet 120 member Joshua Kekoa-Dale, Steven is the Co-Owner and Designer for Kerf Works USA, a small woodworking business here in Las Vegas.
Katie Zimmerman was born in Madison, WI and began her ballet training at the Ballet Academy of Texas under the direction of Lisa Slagle. In 2015, Katie graduated from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet and an Outside Field in Business. In her time at Indiana University, Katie had the opportunity to perform a variety of roles, most notably the principal female in George Balanchine’s Rubies and “Snow Queen” and “Sugar Plum Fairy” in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker. She also performed as a soloist in “La Bayadere,” George Balanchie’s “Divertimento No. 15,” and Violette Verdy’s Variations for Eight. Katie joined Nevada Ballet Theater as a trainee in 2015, and was subsequently promoted to apprentice and company artist. In her five seasons with NBT, Katie has performed roles such as “Dark Angel” in George Balanchine’s Serenade as well as “Big Swans” and “Spanish Princess” in Ben Stevenson’s Swan Lake. Most recently, Katie was featured in the “Second Theme” in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments and in Krista Baker’s world premiere, The Current.
Makenna Gillespie was born here in Las Vegas NV and began her ballet training at the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre as a Future Dance Scholarship recipient. While dancing with the academy she performed various roles in Nevada Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker as well as George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night's Dream. Additionally, she has performed leading roles with Las Vegas Dance Academy such as “Dewdrop”, “Snow Queen”, and the “Sugarplum Fairy” in The Nutcracker, as well as “Lilac Fairy” and Aurora’s wedding variation from the Sleeping Beauty. Makenna has also attended summer programs with Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the School of Ballet Arizona, and the Los Angeles Ballet School. She is very excited to be a part of Ballet 120 this season.
Eugene Mesheryakov was born in Moscow, Russia and began his ballet training at the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre. With the academy he was able to be a part of productions such as The Nutcracker, and Coppélia. Furthering his studies, he has danced with Nevada school of Dance and began training in the Vaganova method of ballet. In 2019, he joined the 2nd company of the Oklahoma City Ballet. During his time there he performed in productions such as Robert Mills Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Michael Pink’s Dracula. Recently Eugene has been performing with Las Vegas Dance Academy and has danced in leading roles such as “Cavalier” in the Nutcracker and other excerpts. Eugene has also had the pleasure of attending summer programs with Ballet West, Oklahoma city Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. He is ecstatic to be a part of Ballet 120 and to have an opportunity to share his passion for the art.